Sometimes you read things and wonder if it’s a joke, but if something gets published in PLOS ONE it should be considered serious. So researchers have found that men may be able to judge a woman’s faithfulness from her face.” I’m sure that there is some use in this study, somewhere. But let’s first have a look at what was studied.
The researcher used 17 photos of unfamiliar women. That doesn’t sound like much and it doesn’t say either who these women were and what they looked like. Could it be that women who dress conventionally are more faithful than those who use a lot of make-up and wear a deep cleavage? I don’t know, but it’s possible and that immediately throws out the whole study. You can’t jugde “just a face”. You always judge the whole looks of a person.
The men’s judgements about faithfulness were accurate 55-59% of the time. That’s hardly convincing, especially as only 17 photos were used. But if all of them were more than 50% then it’s obviously not just a chance thing. And if you ignore all the other problems then this is probably “statistically significant”. But this study could be manipulated in many different ways and the researcher no doubt wanted a positive result to get her PhD. If you take these factors into consideration 59% at once isn’t statistically significant at all anymore. It’s actually very low and I would expect it to be closer to 80%.
The researcher compares this study with a similar study done with women judging photos of men. And she comes to the conclusion that women are different from men. Wow, is that really the quality of research nowadays? Reinventing the wheel is an achievement compared to this. She still links faithfulness with trustworthiness, which is hardly something that can be measured either.
The study then goes on about evolution and sperm competition, but let’s face it: there is no way this can still be turned into something remotely scientific. It would be an interesting project for a few year 10 students, but even they shouldn’t get a good mark for this. The article doesn’t say if the woman got her PhD for this stuff, but I suppose she did. And that’s how the world gets so many dumbo’s with scientific titles, who can’t think and can’t use common sense. It’s sad, but at least it gave me inspiration for a new blog post. And that’s worth something. I suppose. Maybe.